To remind, in December 2020, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) passed several resolutions specifically addressing the need for seafarers, and other marine personnel, to be designated as key workers.

Now, International Transport Workers Federation President and Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin urged Australia to act immediately in line with the other shipping players and designate seafarers as key workers providing an essential service, and facilitate the safe and unhindered movement of seafarers for embarking and disembarking a vessel, accessing shore leave, and when necessary, access to shore-based medical treatment.

He added that the COVID-19 crisis cannot be understated, keeping in mind the number of seafarers that internationally are held captive on their ships, and an equal number are prevented from travelling to relieve these desperate workers due to the global and national inconsistencies in travel restrictions.

Mr. Crumlin highlighted that

Australian seafarers are effectively locked out of jurisdictions where they are engaged in transport operations domestically, and the interconnection of global and national trade.

Concluding, he called Australia to take part in seafarers' designation efforts and urged the Morrison Government to act immediately to address the failed policy settings which continue to exacerbate this crisis for Australian and international seafarers.